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The primary objective of Honours in Criminology is to provide students with the intellectual and technical skills required to undertake a higher degree by research. This makes Honours quite different from your undergraduate study. We want to encourage you, as far as possible, to start the journey towards independent research. We will provide guidance and assistance where this is needed, but by and large you are able to set your own agenda.
More generally, the Honours course provides prospective employers with evidence of a significantly higher demonstrated competence than found in graduates with a first degree. It is common for students completing an Honours program in Criminology to either work within or have links to the criminal justice system and related agencies (though this is not necessary to be able to complete Honours in Criminology).
Your thesis topic will be developed in conjunction with your supervisor. Your supervisor is there to direct your thesis research and the overall theoretical, methodological and conceptual themes that emerge from your own work.
A criminology thesis may include a systematic analysis of social and cultural issues you have encountered in your undergraduate studies relating to policing and law enforcement, crime prevention, drug crime, punishment and sentencing, reform and rehabilitation, regulatory structures, the effectiveness of the criminal law in dealing with problematic behaviour or the media's role in reporting crime. These topics need to be examined by exploring previous quantitative or qualitative criminological research, any number of criminological theories and your own research skills and ideas.
Alternatively, students may wish to do a more theoretical thesis investigating the work of a criminologist, or analysing emerging policies in government reports relating to perceptions of crime, counter-terrorism or maintaining public safety.
The Criminology Honours course requires the successful completion of 4 credit points of Coursework and a thesis. Full time students complete this in one academic year, and part-time students over two years, normally through the completion of the four Coursework units in their first year, and the thesis in the second year. The four Coursework units are weighted at one credit point each. The thesis consists of four credit points.
It is important, for your own motivation, that you write on a topic or examine a problem which interests you. This topic must, however, be viable. This means that the sources it requires must be readily available and not too voluminous to make the task beyond the scope of a dissertation of 14,000 - 16,000 words. You should be able to research and write your thesis in six months if you are a full-time student, or one year, if you are part-time.
Your choice of topic must be refined in your discussions with the academic staff in your discipline area. The Honours Coordinators will refer you to the member of staff whose interests most closely align with your own.
Further information including units of study can be found in the Deakin course search.
Dr Ian Warren
Honours Course Adviser - Criminology
'My job requires high standards of research and writing, flexibility, adaptability and an understanding of the current issues facing the criminal justice system - skills that were fostered and developed during my honours year'